The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

UFDUM, EU/UN-Spotlight Initiative Intensifies SGBV Awareness

By Bill W. Cooper
The United Funding and Development for Under-aged Mothers (UFDUM) in collaboration with the Assistance for Providing Aid (APA) with have climaxed a one-day awareness on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).
With funding from the European Union (EU), United Nation (UN) Spotlight initiative, the APA and the UFDUM one-day awareness targeted 50 participants in the Doe Community in Monrovia on Saturday, July 4.
The awareness meeting held at the Community town hall was held under the theme, ‘Rolling out the simplified comprehensive prevention strategy on ending Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)’ in the country.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, the Vacant Support Advocate of SGBV Crime Unit at the Ministry of Justice, Tenneh Sean-Johnson, said the training was organized to help build the capacity of the residents of the Doe Community in order to curtail the issue of SGBV in the country.
According to her, participants were taught the type of violence that they should normally look out for and where they should always go to report when such act is experienced; alarming how the issues of SGBV, early child marriage, GBV, domestic violence and FGM have increased in the country since the lockdown.
She stated that in order for these issues to be eradicated, it will require every citizen’s effort including community dwellers and further urged participants to utilize the knowledge acquired from the meeting and change the narratives in their respective communities regarding SGBV.
Margret J. Sleyon, a resident of the Doe Community and the Chairperson, Josiah M. Cooper who were all participants lauded the EU/UN Spotlight Initiative and their implementing partners for the meeting stating that it was timely amidst the continuous increase of the cases during this covid-19 havoc.
The Spotlight Initiative is a global, multi-year partnership between the European Union and the United Nations. In Liberia, the Initiative seeks to eliminate all forms of violence against women, girls and boys by 2030.
The Comprehensive Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) Prevention Strategy was developed as part of the Spotlight Initiative (SI), under Outcome 3 of the Spotlight Initiative Results Framework: ‘Harmful social norms and practices and other forms of gender-based violence (GBV) are eliminated through inclusive participation, awareness of their negative impacts and through community-driven solutions at the national, county, community, household and individual levels’.
The Spotlight Initiative is being implemented nationally and specifically in the five selected counties, namely: Grand Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh, Lofa, Montserrado and Nimba and its Strategy is the first comprehensive prevention strategy in the region and in Africa developed by an International Consultancy Firm (MAESTRAL International) and a Local Civil Society Organization (Medica Liberia) hired by UN Women.
The Strategy focuses on social and behavioural change at individual, family, community and institutional levels and aims to target groups of women and girls includes those facing multiple and intersecting forms of violence and discrimination, such as sexual minorities, people with disabilities, sex workers, rural women and other vulnerable groups.

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